When making my plans to head to our nations capital I tried to do as much research on the best food stops to make. With the great network of fellow food bloggers around the world – who are amazingly well-connected and generous to each other – I reached out to some of my favorite bloggers at The Bitten Word for DC recommendations. They jumped when I asked for advice sending me their “Big DC List” of places to check out while I was in town. I had no idea where to begin (they don’t lie when they say “big” DC list) and ended up aimlessly choosing a place that I thought looked good on the web – with a particular liking to their cocktails menu and LEED certification. So, we set plans to have cocktails and dinner at Founding Farmers.
Saturday night after a couple of Caipiriniahs with new and old friends at the bar (thanks to Jen, Aida and Peter for sharing your weekend with me) we sat down for dinner. Founding Farmers has a diverse menu full of traditional and untraditional comfort foods. After snacking on the cornbread with honey butter (amazing) and the famous bacon lollipops (never say no to bacon candy) I found it very difficult to decide what to order. And I must admit, I pride myself on the ability to pick out the best thing on the menu. So I’ll share some of my personally general rules of thumb.
First rule: Pick a dish that you can’t or don’t want to make at home (although this should not apply to things like french fries you lazy-bones). I couldn’t find anything that was unusually complex on the menu at Founding Farmers — and that isn’t a bad thing by any means – I never like overdone menus!
Second rule: Choose a simple dish in which the ingredients stand out as fresh, exceptional in quality or in season.
So when the entire table squealed at the thought of the “foodie” ordering the cheeseburger when I could pick the chicken and waffles, I just smirked knowing that I wouldn’t regret it (and could forecast their jealousy). After I shared a bite of my enormous juicy medium-rare burger with melted cheese and fresh pickle, Travis confessed that I was right and that it was a “perfect burger.” Local, exceptional quality beef ground in-house – simple and right. My burger did not discount how good the Chicken & Waffles were or the other giant dishes that crowded our table but very well might have been the best thing on the menu.
Check it out next time you’re visiting the Obama family – they live just down the street.